The Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine was set up in September 2001 and is a joint Faculty of the Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
The Medical Council gave the Speciality, Specialist recognition in May 2004 and to date there are 25 doctors on the Register of Medical Specialists in the Division of Sports and Exercise Medicine. The Faculty has developed a curriculum for Higher Specialist Training; this is a 4-year training programme which includes a number of core specialities that trainees must complete (ie, A&E, Cardiology/Resp Medicine, etc). All trainees will have completed a BST programme and should have completed some Postgraduate course such as an MSc in Sports and Exercise Medicine (SEM). Our curriculum is very similar to FSEM (UK) HST training programme and both Faculties have collaborated over the curriculum development. Unfortunately we have not secured funding for a programme and trainees need to apply prospectively to the Faculty to outline there training programme rotations for accreditation. This has become more difficult for trainees with changes to the Irish Medical Council Register where trainees need to be in approved training numbered posts. We continue to work with the Medical Council, Health Service Executive and the Forum of Postgraduate Training Bodies. Part 11 of the Medical Practitioner Act 2007 was commenced in May 2010, bringing Competence Assurance into law, this will drive the need for a training programme and developing CPD programmes. Going forward, further development of Postgraduate programmes in SEM for doctors with a special interest in SEM is very important at either MSc or Diploma Level. The Faculty continue to work on developing continuous education programmes with a new Diploma course in conjunction with the Irish College of General Practice. E-learning programme development in conjunction with the NUI colleges should be explored. For development of the Speciality, UEMS recognition is a must with an agreed Specialist Training programme curriculum that can be delivered throughout Europe. I believe that both Faculties from Ireland and UK can collaborate on having a greater input on such developments.
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